Clare Dannenberg

Affiliate Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology


Ph.D., Linguistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1999


Dr. Dannenberg specializes in issues of language use and identity, and she has done extensive work with Native American, Appalachian, and African American varieties of English, investigating the rates and trajectory of language change in the face of language loss and cultural encroachment.  Utilizing both critical discourse and language variation theories, Dr. Dannenberg examines language variables at both the descriptive and theoretic levels of analysis in order to better understand the role of language change and identity construction around issues of language sustainability and policy.  Principally her work has been concentrated in the Southeastern region of the United States where she had the opportunity to work with the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.  Dr. Dannenberg plans to extend her research on the maintenance of ethnic language varieties with the investigation of Central Yup'ik varieties of English within the Anchorage region, in order to better understand the negotiation of language boundaries in multi-cultural contexts.

Research Interests

  • Linguistic anthropology
  • Language boundaries
  • Identity construction,
  • Language change
  • Language and its role on policy
  • North America


Sociolinguistic Constructs of Ethnic Identity: The Syntactic Delineation of a Native
American English Variety. 2003. Publications of the American Dialect Society, Number 87. Durham: Duke University Press. 106 pp.

Wolfram, Walt, Clare Dannenberg, Stanley Knick, and Linda Oxendine. 2002. Fine In the World: Lumbee Language in Time and Place. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University Humanities Extension/Publications. 93 pp.  Review: Hackert, S. 2003. English World-Wide, 24: 295-99.

Regional Identity: A Real Time, Longitudinal Study of Appalachian English in Mercer and Monroe Counties, West Virginia. 2010. Southern Journal of Linguistics, 34, 1: 1-20.

Sounds of Survival: Language Loss, Retention, and Restructuring Among American Indian Peoples in the Southeast. 2005. Southern Anthropologist, 30: 37-57.  

Walt Wolfram and Clare J. Dannenberg. 1999. Dialect Identity in a Tri-ethnic Context: The Case of Lumbee American Indian English.  English World-Wide, 20: 79-116.  

Grammatical and Phonological Manifestations of Null Copula in a Tri-Ethnic Contact Situation. 1999.  Journal of English Linguistics, 27: 356-70.  

Clare J. Dannenberg and Walt Wolfram. 1998. Ethnic Identity and Grammatical
Restructuring: Be(s) and Lumbee English. American Speech, 73: 139-59.